"Let's stop the erosion of Kingston's library services" - Kingston Frontenac library workers ask the public to lobby Library Board

    KINGSTON, ON, Sept. 10 /CNW Telbec/ - "Let's stop the erosion of library
services," front-line library workers told passers-by today at an information
picket at the Central Branch on Johnson Street.
    Librarians, library assistants and technicians, members of the Canadian
Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 2202, leafleted passers-by at the Central
Branch today, asking them to lobby the Board to strengthen public library
services by coming to a fair collective agreement with workers. Another picket
is planned for Friday, September 12, at the Isabel Turner Branch, 935
Gardiners Road, from 12:00 Noon to 2:00 PM.
    "We need to stop the erosion of our community's library services," said
Sherry Van Luven, CUPE 2202 Vice-President. "We're trying to deliver the best
service we can but we're dealing with new faulty technology that leaves
patrons frustrated while workers wrestle with sub-standard check-in and
check-out equipment that leaves us scrambling to make up for its
    "And now management wants to hire more "apprentices" - students who
they'll pay less - to cut into our regular workforce. But we say, no way - the
erosion stops here," Van Luven said.
    "It's time for the public to speak out and tell the Board to stop
undermining service to the community," Van Luven said. "It's time to reach a
fair deal and stop eroding our beloved library service."
    Van Luven noted that management walked away from the bargaining table
just when the union thought they were coming close to a new collective
    "We don't understand why they walked - there is no financial crisis,
things were going well in bargaining, but they seemed determined to push us
into a strike when we just wanted to keep talking," Van Luven said.
    Management filed for a "no board" on September 3, a motion that starts
the countdown to a potential strike or lock-out by midnight, September 19. Van
Luven said there was one more mediation session to be scheduled, and she
remained hopeful.
    "We don't want to strike, we want to keep bargaining," Van Luven said.
"With the public lobbying the Board, we'll all stand a better chance of
reaching a deal to make our libraries stronger and turn back the erosion of
the past several years."

For further information:

For further information: Sherry Van Luven, President, CUPE 2202, (613)
583-5931 (C); David Robbins, CUPE Communications, (613) 878-1431 (C)

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